The European Parliament will convene in Brussels, rather than its seat in Europe, Strasbourg, a top official said Monday.

The decision came after an increase in novel coronavirus cases in France, David Sassoli, president of the European Parliament, said in a statement.

“I want to thank the French authorities and the city of Strasbourg for their ongoing cooperation during the pandemic and express my sincere hope that we will soon be able to return,” said Sassoli.

“The part-session of the European Parliament from 5 to 8 October 2020 will take place in Brussels,” he added.

French President Emmanuel Macron sent a letter to Sassoli and asked him to convene the parliament in Strasbourg.

“The health situation is certainly difficult, but it is as difficult in Strasbourg as it is in Brussels,” Macron said in the letter.

According to European agreements, the European Parliament’s headquarters is located in Strasbourg, where a total of 12 plenary sessions of three and a half days each year must be held. For the rest of the time, lawmakers work in Brussels, though this has long been a topic of discussion.

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